ARLINGTON, Virginia — The 2016 Ford F-150 grabbed a major safety honor on Tuesday, topping its rivals to take home a "good" rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's latest small-overlap crash tests.
The Institute said the F-150 nabbed the "lone good rating" in the tough crash test, which replicates what happens when a vehicle runs off the road and hits a tree or pole or clips another vehicle that has crossed the center line.
The designation applies to 2016 F-150 Super Cab and Super Crew configurations.
The two versions were evaluated separately, with the Super Cab being tested most recently.
"Ford improved the 2016 F-150 Super Cab to clinch a 'good' rating in the small overlap crash test, up from the 2015 model's 'marginal' rating," the Institute said in a statement. "The F-150 is the only large pickup in the latest test group to earn the Institute's top rating in the test."
The F-150 Super Cab and Super Crew earned a 2016 Top Safety Pick award from the Institute when equipped with Ford's optional basic-rated forward-collision warning system.
"Ford is leading the way among large pickup manufacturers when it comes to protecting people in a range of crashes and offering technology to warn drivers of imminent frontal crashes," said Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the Institute's Vehicle Research Center.
Ford said it created 31 safety-related innovations on the 2016 F-150, "including new structures that manage crash forces and joining methods that were tested virtually with supercomputer simulations."
The Institute tested crew-cab and extended-cab versions of full-size pickups from several automakers.
Crew-cab versions of those trucks were rated "marginal."
"Ratings for both of the Silverado pickups extend to their GMC Sierra 1500 twins," the Institute said.
The worst performing pickups in the small-overlap test are the 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab and the Ram 1500 Quad Cab.
"Both earned a marginal rating overall and a poor rating for structure," the Institute said.
Edmunds says: This latest round of testing provides some critical information for safety-minded truck buyers.